Press release: The Exchange Club of Northside Bloomington and the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Host Inaugural Valor Awards

The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian this week:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Exchange Club of Northside Bloomington and the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Host Inaugural Valor Awards

Bloomington, Ind. – April 10, 2024 – This year marks the debut of the Valor Awards, a distinguished ceremony brought to you by the Exchange Club of Northside Bloomington in partnership with the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. The ceremony is dedicated to honoring the bravery and selflessness of our first responders—firefighters, law enforcement, dispatch, and correctional center officers. Set to spotlight these everyday heroes, the Valor Awards will recognize one individual from each sector for their exemplary service. The event, proudly presented by Old National Bank and Weddle Brothers, will unfold at the Monroe Convention Center on Wednesday, May 8th, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Nominations were solicited from Monroe County entities in four categories: law enforcement, fire, dispatch, and correctional center, with an outside selection committee tasked with reviewing submissions. The winners of each category will be announced during the awards presentation. The following individuals have been nominated in recognition for their outstanding service:

  • Law Enforcement
    • Trooper Ben Burris – Indiana State Police Department
    • Cpl. Deandre Moxley – Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
    • Officer Jeff Raybould – Bloomington Police Department
    • Deputy Chief George Robinson – Ellettsville Police Department
    • Officer Ryan Skaggs – Indiana University Police Department
  • Fire Department
    • Battalion Chief Clay Edwards – Monroe County Fire District
    • Capt. Kenny Hinkle – City of Bloomington Fire Department
    • Capt. Matthew Siebott – Ellettsville Fire Department
  • Dispatch
    • Jarrod Bailey – Monroe County Central Emergency Dispatch Center
  • Correctional Center
    • Sgt. Paul Patton – Monroe County Sheriff’s Office

The Exchange Club has a longstanding tradition of honoring law enforcement and firefighters. This year, in collaboration with the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, donations from the event will support Back the Line Monroe County, a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization that offers support to Monroe County’s first responders and their families when tragedy strikes.

 “Our local first responders give their all to support our community,” says Robert Skelton, Vice President of Back the Line Monroe County. “It is our mission to make sure they receive all the support they need. It is an honor to be partnering with the Exchange Club of Northside Bloomington and the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce’s Valor Awards.”

Back the Line offers immediate monetary and emotional support to the surviving families of a fallen or disabled Monroe County first responder. Back the Line actively supports first responders’ mental health and morale during the year by providing access to peer support, chaplain services, social workers, grief counseling, and incident debriefings.

Eric Spoonmore, President & CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “The Chamber is thrilled to join forces with the Exchange Club for this inaugural event. Recognizing the valor of our first responders not only celebrates their indispensable contributions to our community but also reaffirms the Chamber’s dedication to fostering a safe, supportive environment for all residents. We anticipate that the Valor Awards will become a hallmark of community pride and gratitude.”

Rollie Mason, President of the Exchange Club of Northside Bloomington, shared, “The Valor Awards signify a new chapter in our mission to honor those who serve with unyielding courage and commitment. By shining a light on their heroic deeds, we not only pay tribute to their sacrifices but also inspire others to acknowledge the pivotal role first responders play in our daily lives. It’s a privilege to highlight their stories of bravery and perseverance.”

The Exchange Club’s tradition of honoring law enforcement and firefighters stands as a cornerstone of its mission, celebrating the unwavering commitment and courage of those who ensure public safety and well-being. The annual recognition acts as a profound acknowledgment of the bravery, sacrifice, and service exhibited by these individuals. It underscores the community’s appreciation and respect for their roles, thereby strengthening the bond between first responders and the communities they serve.

The Valor Awards celebration will include time to network among attendees prior to the awards presentation. The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. and conclude at 1:00 p.m. For more information about the Valor Awards, or to purchase tickets to the event, contact The Chamber at (812) 336‐3681 or visit the Chamber’s website at ChamberBloomington.org.

About the Exchange Club of Northside Bloomington:

The Exchange Club of Northside Bloomington is a 501(c)3 nonprofit membership organization working to make our communities better places to live with three core values, Commitment to Family, Commitment to the Community, and Commitment to the County.  The Exchange Club of Northside Bloomington was founded in 1957 and officially chartered in 1958 by Carl Stewart. Three Programs of Service, Americanism, Youth Programs, and Community Service, as well as Exchange’s National Project, the prevention of child abuse, are lenses through which local clubs focus their energy and attention on their community’s needs.

About the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce:

The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit membership organization serving as our community’s leading advocate for business. We offer unique leadership opportunities, meaningful volunteer activities, and exclusive business-building programs focused on critical economic, civic, and social priorities. Chamber members support each other and community initiatives, sharing information and resources to help create economic opportunity and community well-being. At the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, we believe that better business leads to a better community.

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